What to Make of ‘Deterioration in Black-Jewish Relations’ Video Diddy Shared
Jewish tweeter Jacob Baime has taken American rapper, actor, record producer, and record executive Diddy to task for something he posted on Instagram about the Jewish people.
As usual, I wanted to see for myself before passing judgement.
Here is the full video that Diddy posted. It is of American singer-songwriter and social commentator Dara Starr Tucker’s take on what has gone wrong with Black-Jewish relations:
Call me crazy, but I found this to be a generally nuanced and fair explanation.
Ms Tucker makes many valid and important points, and is clearly outspoken against antisemitism. She acknowledges how Jews were at the vanguard of the civil rights movement. She describes how Jews and African Americans have been natural allies. She acknowledges the persecution we have suffered throughout history and how we were not considered “White.” She points out how one can be Black and Jewish. She acknowledges how Black-Jewish collaboration in the entertainment industry has yielded amazing results. She is not afraid to call out elements of the Black community who perpetuate it, specifically the Nation of Islam.
Where I think Ms Tucker is off is where she dabbles in Critical Race Theory. She loses me when she speaks about Jews being granted “Whiteness” as it were, around the Middle of the 20th century. I understand as a Black woman, she is referring to this “Whiteness” as a denoter of white privilege. But I see no difference with Jewish people being able to attain success and Black people being able to attain success, both in the face of adversity. One can attain success and not have this “privilege.” Why is it that when Kanye West or Diddy are successful this is different to when a Jewish person is successful?
To suggest Jewish people are “able to participate in and perpetuate White supremacy” is indeed offensive. This is not the same thing as suggesting some Jewish people have managed to become successful, and, in some cases, have exploited Black people. There is no doubt this has been the case in some instances, but to extrapolate and suggest it is because “Jewish people have been part of the dominant racial caste” is a misleading and gross simplification.
Having said that, one needs to look at the overall video and understand that Ms Tucker (and presumably Diddy) is genuinely trying to explain things through her prism of experience and understanding. This is not some antisemitic diatribe, but rather an ultimately flawed explanation. I believe the amount of good resulting from this video could outweigh the bad.
In this case, I would encourage people to not jump down Diddy’s and Dara Starr Tucker’s throats for the latter succumbing to some of the pitfalls that unfortunately seem to beset a lot of Critical Race Theory (even though I am aware that Diddy has provided the detestable Louis Farrakhan a platform on his Revolt TV*), since this video is clearly meant to mend bridges, not increase the divide between us. Rather, this is an opportunity to educate them and others as to where the analysis is faulty.
*which is particularly interesting, given how the video is critical of Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam